Josh Dunkley would have been watching subsequent week’s AFL grand ultimate in a rival membership’s colors if final November’s beautiful commerce request had been granted.
The 24-year-old was in search of extra midfield time and nominated Essendon as his most popular vacation spot, however was finally held to the remaining two years on his Western Bulldogs contract.
“I haven’t actually considered it an excessive amount of ever because it didn’t occur; I’ve simply appeared ahead and tried to do as greatest I can for the workforce,” Dunkley mentioned.
“I’ve been on file saying I’m actually excited for the longer term and issues like that.
“However to have the ability to come again into the group and be embraced by everybody from day one in every of pre-season has been actually essential.”
Dunkley mentioned he has not but carefully thought of his enjoying future past his present contract, which runs out on the finish of subsequent yr.
However he expects some dialogue with the Bulldogs’ hierarchy in the course of the low season.
“It’s been a loopy yr the place I’ve in all probability extra considered my physique and issues like that, attempting to get again to the place I’m enjoying my greatest footy,” Dunkley mentioned.
“I’m actually excited extra about what we’ve been capable of obtain and the build-up to this week, and after that we’ll have a look at all the things and have some chats, which can be good.”
Josh Dunkley’s failed AFL commerce request has landed him in a grand ultimate with new teammate Adam Treloar. Credit score: Getty
As Dunkley prepares for a shot at a second premiership – the Bulldogs to tackle Melbourne within the September 25 grand ultimate – all the things seems to have panned out properly.
He has performed an essential position within the midfield rotation when match and fashioned an in depth bond with star recruit Adam Treloar, who added much more depth to the Canine’ robust on-ball division over summer time.
However the 11-month interval since Dunkley’s commerce transfer fell by way of hasn’t all been clean crusing.
He was sidelined after a shoulder reconstruction in April and performed one match on return earlier than being compelled into quarantine after he unwittingly attending a COVID-19 publicity web site.
“For me, it’s been an attention-grabbing trip,” Dunkley mentioned, having performed 14 video games this season, together with all three finals up to now.
“I did my shoulder (in spherical six), got here again in fairly fast time, 11-12 weeks, which I don’t know if it’s been completed earlier than.
Dunkley (left) was the youngest member of the Bulldogs’ 2016 grand ultimate workforce. Credit score: Getty
“I felt actually good in that Gold Coast recreation (spherical 18) after which I copped the 2 weeks quarantine at residence.
“To be locked inside my home for 2 weeks actually didn’t assist my preparation and all of the work that I’d completed post-shoulder surgical procedure… now I’m beginning to hit my straps once more.”
It’s taking place on the proper time, with Dunkley one in every of as much as 9 gamers from the Bulldogs’ 2016 premiership workforce set to chase extra flag glory on this yr’s historic decider at Perth’s Optus Stadium.
“We’ve simply bought to place our heads down and work actually exhausting – the job’s not completed but,” Dunkley mentioned.
“We’ve bought to coach rather well, get collectively and benefit from the second just a little bit and in the case of recreation day we’ll work actually exhausting collectively and hopefully we get that (premiership).”